‘There’s so much sex in film because cinema is our teacher’

Claire Denis (77) is a master of physical cinema. her sensual, award winning stars in the afternoon is about a relationship between a young American journalist and an Englishman at war. She remained faithful to her spontaneous style of filmmaking. “I don’t need an intimacy coach.”

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I speak Claire Denis (High Life, Beau Travels) in May 2022 on the roof of an expensive hotel in Cannes. It’s boiling hot. Dennis is wearing a black hoodie and jeans. She drinks a black tea. When she says in the middle of the interview that it’s not strong enough, someone immediately brings her a double espresso.

When I tell Denise I’m from the Netherlands, she enthuses: “I have fond memories of the Netherlands. I met Dennis in The Hague. Dennis is Dennis Johnson, the author of the novel on which he based his film.

,stars in the afternoon A very strange book,” she says. “Dennis wanted to be a journalist. And he went to Nicaragua during the war because he felt that in a war situation anyone could be a journalist. The novel is not about politics, but about the question: what will I eat tomorrow, how will I get a plane ticket home? I felt such a deep emotional feeling when he interviewed the British journalist Described the first sexual encounter. I could feel the fullness of her beauty, the fullness of her youth.

Speaking of the book, why did you move the story to a contemporary setting?

“Nobody wanted to insure the film because of the unsafe conditions in Nicaragua. I knew Panama and thought Panama was the right place. Then I thought, if I change countries, why do I have to pretend that It’s set in 1984? Why would I use fake bombs and fake ruins? My budget isn’t that big. Plus, the youthfulness of Margaret and Joe (protagonists Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn, version) gives me a lot of strength. Didn’t want to disguise.”

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Afternoon Stars: Joe Alwyn as Danielle DeHaven.  Image Film Depot

Afternoon Stars: Joe Alwyn as Danielle DeHaven.Image Film Depot

Is it because of your youth that you have chosen these actors?

“I saw Margaret in the Tarantino movie (Once Upon a Time… in HollywoodEd.) and said: she will be the daughter of stars in the afternoon, Because she’s sexy, that’s the only reason. What I got later Firstly, before the corona pandemic, I had Robert (Pattinson) on my mind. but then became batman was postponed so that Robert could spend more time on PR for the film. He said: I’m tired, I can’t. And then I found Joe.

How do you relate to the characters?

“Both the characters are mine. In a way, all the characters are me. It may sound pretentious, but it’s true. Because I cannot direct people if I do not feel anything for them. When I asked Benny (Safdi, ed.) to play the CIA man, it was because when I read the novel I realized that Dennis never described the CIA man as a terrible man. He portrayed him as a man doing his job. So I thought I should cast someone I like.”

Is the story of sex work?

“Yeah, I don’t have a moral judgment about it. Like the reporter of the story, I would do anything to save my life — honestly. When I met with Dennis, he told me that when he tried to sell an article or Tried to persuade a publisher or sell a script, she felt like a sex worker, a prostitute.

Unlike Hollywood films, your films are sensual, physical.

“Is he right? It’s a compliment. I always thought there’s so much sex in cinema because cinema is our teacher. When you’re thirteen, fourteen or fifteen, you learn about sex by watching movies: What is it like to be sexy, what is it not to be sexy. That’s why sex is important in a movie. I don’t know how Americans do sex scenes these days, I don’t know. Let me put it this way: I have no idea That’s what sets it apart from the rest. I do what I feel is right.”

Are people very careful about the depiction of sex now?

“I think that was one of the negative aspects of when Weinstein was arrested. That people suddenly looked at sex in film in a different way. That women could feel humiliated or attacked – or even that even men or children can feel abused on set. All of a sudden, with intimacy trainers and things like that, sex is becoming very protective. But I don’t think that’s something that’s necessary for me. I’ve never felt That someone is being misbehaved on the set. If that had happened, I would have felt it.”

Would you say that your films are viewed differently now? He beau travel Seen with different eyes?

“Don’t know. beau travelor rather the story beau travel, At that time it was already America’s biggest fear. They thought my film was about homosexuality. And I said, well, my film isn’t specifically about that. But if you insist it’s about homosexuality, it’s probably because you have a problem with it yourself. That’s why my films have always been controversial.

stars in the afternoon Can be seen at Cinecenter, City, Filmhallen, Rialto De Pijp, The Movies and Tuschinski.

stars in the afternoon

Young American journalist Trish is trapped in Nicaragua during the coronavirus pandemic and escalating internal conflicts. His passport has been confiscated and he fears being killed by the regime because of his critical writings. Trish has sex with government officials for money and protection. Then he meets an Englishman who can give him a way out of the country.

romantic thriller stars in the afternoon To premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022. There the film received the Grand Prix, the Silver Medal of the festival, shared with Lucas Dhonts. close,

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